When I think of Thanksgiving, I envision pilgrims with buckle shoes and ridiculous hats gathering around wooden tables with a bunch of natives with headdresses, celebrating their most genuine “friendship” by feasting on a giant dead bird (with cranberry sauce and grandma’s pumpkin pie, obviously). However, because I’m highly educated, I know that this is a gross misconception of a holiday that has nothing to do with a dead turkey and everything to do with William Bradford (the badass governor of the 1620 American colony) proclaiming that all his puritan buddies should gather together and thank God for helping them thrive in America.
But let’s be honest, this is not interesting at all…
Turkey day (as I like to call it) is a time for families to come together and eat and drink as much as humanly possible, fall into a trytophan-induced coma, then wake up the next day and act like raving lunatics as they shop from 5am onwards to get the best deals on crap they don’t need.
When I was in fourth grade, we dressed up like pilgrims and sang songs with the “native americans” (fifth graders) about peace and corn and turkeys…then we cut out a giant paper turkey and offered it to the natives (fifth graders), which they happily accepted with “thanks”. This was followed by a feast in the auditorium with our teachers, but all I kept thinking (between mouthfuls of mashed potatoes) was how much I wanted to be a native (because they had cooler outfits and got to make their own walking sticks). A plump pilgrim nudged me in the ribs and said, “why did the turkey sit on the tomahawk?” I said I didn’t know. “To hatchet.” A blank stare. “Get it? Hatch-it?” Oh, right, I mumbled. Needless to say, it wasn’t until high school that I realized the sweet old puritans weren’t so “pure” after all…
“Wait, so they were escaping persecution from King James I and came to America so they could be socialists and practice their own religion?”
“Yea, apparently,” I said. “But then all the indians died from disease and-”
“Dude, you can’t say indians!?!”
“Oh, forgive me. We butchered the Native Americans, then became a capitalist society and thrived. God bless America…”
“I know, right? He’s caused us more problems…”
So, what do I celebrate during Thanksgiving? Being with my family…because there’s nothing better. Nothing.
Well, except perhaps mashed ginger cinnamon sweet potatoes! This is a simple recipe that’s a perfect addition to your Thanksgiving spread.
Mashed Ginger Cinnamon Sweet Potatoes
2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped
1 large yellow onion, peeled and chopped
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
1/3 cup coconut milk
2 T ginger pulp (= peeled and grated ginger root)
1 cinnamon stick
1 bay leaf
salt and pepper to taste
In a large pot, add potatoes, carrots, bay leaf, cinnamon stick, and onion and fill with enough water to just cover the vegetables. Bring to a boil and cover, then reduce heat and simmer until veggies are tender, about 20 minutes. Strain water out and remove bay leaf, then season with salt and add ginger pulp and coconut milk. Use an immersion blender or food processor to puree until creamy and smooth. Serves 6 unicorns disguised as pilgrims.